For most of her life, heavy periods debilitated Annette Sarantis. "You're talking almost a whole week out of your life that youre not, you don't leave the house, you don't do anything. You stay at home and you take care of yourself," said Sarantis.
Diagnosed with salivary gland cancer and anemia, a hysterectomy wasn't an option for Sarantis. But a cryoablation therapy called Her Option was an option.
Raleigh Dr. Lisa Roberts, president and ceo of gynecology and laproscopic surgeries performed Sarantis' surgery. It reduced the heavy bleeding by freezing the tissue lining the uterus.
Roberts explains the procedure works saying, "The Her Option procedure we do here in the office is the only one we do that uses freezing. We'll place a very small cryoprobe or freezing probe inside the uterus and we'll do all this under ultra sound guidance.
So, while we're watching with the ultra sound probe placed on their abdomen, we can see exactly where the probe is placed on their uterus. The probe is abgled towards one side of the uterus for about seven minutes and the other side for seven minutes.
The lining of the uterus which we call the endometrium is frozen and over time that tends to make the lining inactive. So, this does not involve hormones women still continue to produce hormones.
Twenty to 30 percent of the women who have the procedure done will stop having periods all together. The other 60 to 70 percent will have a significant reduction in the amount of bleeding usually down to light bleeding or spotting."
Endometrial cryoablation was FDA approved in 2001 and traditionally its been done in a hospital setting but doctors in the triangle recently started offered it in office. In Raleigh, Dr. Roberts North Raleigh office is one of only three where you can get it done.
Annette Sarantis says the procedure was quick and painless. "I was in the office maybe 45 minutes. The whole procedure was 15 minutes maybe, explains Sarantis.
While the cryoablation procedure was quick, it was life changing for her.
"Through cryosurgery it allowed me to battle anemia and cut my periods to a day and a half and be back to feeling normal. If we couldn't have controlled the bleeding, I would have probably died of anemia," stated Sarantis.